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The difference between genuine and false electricity rates

What exactly is a flat rate? Does anyone really know? It's an important question, because the market is full of offers that sell options as flat rates that do not fit the definition. Some flat rates fall short of your expectations. Others give you everything you want and more.

We are used to talking about “flat rates” in connection with our mobile phones, Internet, etc. and recently in the energy sector as well. To understand what a real flat rate is, you have to go back to the beginning.

It all started when mobile phones had not yet become smartphones and the flat rate appeared. It was a ground breaking idea: talk for as long as you want to, because at the end of the month you will always pay the same amount. It was soon taken up by Internet providers: use all the MB (and later GB) you need, because you will always pay the same.

But we need to distinguish between genuine and false flat rates ... and other options that offer even more than we expect in order to innovate.

 

Real flat rates

The original concept (the ones offered by mobile phone and Internet providers) is still valid: I use as much as I want to, but I always pay the same amount. I will use minutes or GB or kWh during both peaks and valleys, but the rate at which I am charged for my consumption is always the same, like a flat line.

This idea is obviously older than the term "flat rate" and is found in the idea of an open bar (I pay a fixed amount and drink as much as I want) and fees paid for services like gyms (I pay my fee and I can use the gym as many times as I want and go to as many classes as I want).

This is the key to a genuine flat rate. You pay a fixed amount regardless of how much you consume. This is all well and good when both parties comply with the minimum principles of transparency and common sense. Nobody would think it reasonable to go to a bar and order 20 colas in five minutes.

 

False flat rates

Because the idea of a flat rate is an attractive one, it has been used incorrectly to improve the image of some less attractive options. At first glance, they may look good, until you realise that they are guaranteeing what you pay each month... unless you go beyond a certain limit.

This is often an annual limit. In other words, you pay the same each month, but at the end of the year the company checks how much you have consumed and, if you have exceeded the limit, you have to pay an additional amount to compensate. This process is called “regularisation”.

These options are absolutely legal; the only problem is that they are marketing themselves by describing the product as a flat rate, when in fact it is not. Imagine we were talking about a gym. How would you feel if, at the end of the year, your instructor told you that you had exceeded the maximum time limit you could spend exercising and that when Christmas comes you will have to pay an additional 50 euros.

In the case of electricity and gas rates, there are many examples of false flat rates, just as there are in other sectors.

Much more than a flat rate.

But why get stuck in the open bar concept? It is practical and simple, but it is also rather outdated.

Imagine an open bar where, if you only drink half a glass of orange juice, you get back most of the fee, because you have barely used anything. You can go there with the peace of mind of knowing you can drink as much as you want, but if you don’t, you will be reimbursed part of what you paid.

Imagine a gym where, if you are not going to train for months, you get your fee back.

Imagine a unique option that you will not find anywhere else in the electricity and gas market. Picture this:

  1. Based on your usual electricity and gas consumption, a personalised offer is calculated just for you. You don't have to pay what everyone else does. This is a unique rate, just for you.
  2. This is the rate that you will pay, every month of the year. Not a penny more, not a penny less. And when Christmas comes, you won’t get any nasty surprises or ‘regularisations'. No additional amount. Only your personalised rate, which is the same in December and January and February...
  3. And if you take part in the energy efficiency challenge and reduce your electricity or gas consumption, a part of what you paid is refunded on your bills. In other words: if you use less, you pay less.

Do you get it? Well, you can come back down to earth, because this rate already exists and you can sign up for it in less than 5 minutes. Única is much more than a flat rate. Because as well as all the features we have told you about, it includes:

  • 100% sustainable energy: 100% renewable electricity and CO2 emission neutral natural gas.
  • Add extra services: inspections, repairs, video assistance, 360 protection ... and much more, coming soon.
  • No lock-in period: if we haven't convinced you yet, you can change your rate or the retailer whenever you like, with no penalties.

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